Address by Prof. Robert Dussey
Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Benin dear Aurélien AGBÉNONCI,
Minister of the Interior and Public Security of the Republic of Benin,
Dear colleagues Ministers of the Togolese delegation,
Ladies and gentlemen,
The proximity between our two countries, Togo and Benin, is not only spatial. Besides the choice of nature to make our two countries immediate neighbors – nature doing nothing without reason tells us KANT -, deep historical ties link our two nations, but also fraternal links which constitute the background and the motivational basis of our cooperative relationships.
The facilities made available to the Togolese delegation since our arrival and the hospitality regime reserved for us convinces us of the excellence of the relations of friendship and fraternal proximity between Togo and Benin. I would like to take this opportunity to convey to His Excellency Patrice TALON, President of the Republic of Benin, the fraternal and friendly greetings from His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Republic of Togo.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The cooperative relations of our two countries are at the heart of these meetings and our governments have made the best choice to work towards their densification. Our co-belonging to the same sub-regional space and our common dependence, sometimes common vulnerabilities and common challenges, impose action on relationships. Paul VALERY did well to qualify our epoch of epoch of meetings and relationships.
Our era is forcing people and states to come together and we have no choice but to cooperate and act together. Acting together, says philosopher Hannah ARENDT, is “inseparable from the appearance-common-of beings”, from the fact that we are together with others, from the fact that existence is co-presence and belonging to the world . Being together provides opportunities to act together and that is what we are doing right now. We have the power to act together and we act.
The framework agreement for cross-border cooperation and the memorandum of understanding that we signed today endow relations between our two States with new normative frameworks in an historic time when we need to cooperate more for development, to cooperate more for regional and African integration, to cooperate more for the security and stability of each of our countries and the sub-region.
More cooperation for development since our two countries have common challenges linked to the emergence, more cooperation for regional and African integration since a better integrated Africa can only be credible and audible on the world stage, more cooperation for security, a primary public good, the enjoyment of which conditions and promotes the realization of the fundamental human right of our populations and our developing States.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The West African sub-region is the framework for the presence of our states in the world – and if ARISTOTE is right when he puts the primacy of the Whole over the Party – we cannot deal with the problem of the internal security of our countries regardless of the security situation in the sub-region. National security requires endogenous efforts, but it also requires the governments of the subregion for cooperation and a coalition of means. Networking national security strategies is the solution today.
The fight against crime, maritime piracy, cyber-insecurity and terrorism and the action which they imply, on both sides of our borders, must be deployed within the framework of a shared vision of responsibilities which urges each party to work in a spirit of co-dependence and co-responsibility.
Our States deploy efforts in this vision by evolving their paradigms and conceptions of intelligence with the exercise in sharing of some of their traditional royal attributes and we are convinced that the option for the reinforcement and the acceleration of the impulses of cooperation cross-border is good because it is lucid and in tune with the spirit of the times.
Besides, the challenges are great and impose on us the need to intensify cooperation between our two countries. The Togolese government remains convinced that effective cooperation between the Togolese and Beninese security, intelligence and civil protection services will allow our two states to consolidate their respective capacities to respond to current security challenges. Faced with cross-border challenges, we need coordinated and effective cross-border action.
Thank you for your attention.